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If You Listen, We Will Stay: Why Teachers of Color Leave and How to Disrupt Teacher Turnover

September 25, 2019

Studies consistently show that teachers of color matter for all students, and especially for students of color. Yet, the proportion of teachers of color in the workforce continues to lag far behind the share of students of color in our schools.  Recruiting teachers of color only gets them into the building. We must pay equal, if not more, attention to their retention to make long-lasting change in the diversity of the workforce. 

This is why Teach Plus and The Education Trust set out to learn why teachers of color are leaving schools, what teachers of color believe would help solve the turnover problem, and what strategies exist in schools and school systems that are intentionally working to bring about change.

"If You Listen, We Will Stay: Why Teachers of Color Leave and How to Disrupt Teacher Turnover," examines the challenges teachers of color face as they navigate the profession and zeroes in on the solutions adopted by schools working to retain faculty of color.

Read the report

Learn what you can do as a teacher leader

Teach Plus teacher leaders on their experiences as teachers of color

Retaining Teachers of Color in the Classroom Starts with Listening
By Idalmi Acosta, Teach Plus Indianapolis Fellowship alumna

Celebrate and Support the Strengths Teachers of Color Bring to the Classroom
By Daniel Helena, Teach Plus California alum

A Simple ‘I See You’ Could Help Teachers of Color Stay
By Keisha Rembert, Teach Plus Illinois alumna

I had a teacher who looked like me
By Shareefah Mason, Teach Plus Texas DFW alumna

"If You Listen, We Will Stay" in the media

Educators Using 2019 Diversity Report to Show Districts How They Can Better Support Teachers of Color (The74)

America’s schools are more diverse than ever. But the teachers are still mostly white. (The Washington Post)

Teacher Spotlight: Daniel Helena brings his own experiences in helping retain more teachers of color in L.A. classrooms (LA School Report)

Push to increase the number of teachers of color in California classrooms gains momentum (EdSource)

Black And Brown Teachers Have A Request: Listen (NPR Illinois)

Black, Latino teachers call for change amid teacher turnover problem: 'Acknowledge us' (Yahoo)

How Do We Make Teaching More Diverse? Experts Say: Start By Listening (Indiana Public Radio)

Hiring Teachers of Color Is Just the First Step. Here's How to Keep Them (Education Week)

Read our reports on recruiting and retaining teachers of color in California and Illinois